Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Good Watching

Hey y'all,

I haven't used that inspiration label for awhile now so I better put up some of the stuff that is inspiring me at the moment.

Lets begin with some new series from Japan

An anime series directed by Hiroyuki Morita (The Cat Returns) based on a manga by Mohiro Kitoh.

I've only seen the first two episodes of this series but it so intrigues me, right from the get go.

This is from wikipedia:

During a summer camp, 15 children, 8 males and 7 females, find a grotto by the sea. Deep within they discover working computers and some electronic equipment, and later the owner, a man called Kokopelli. Kokopelli claimed to be a programmer working on a brand new game, in which a large robot has to defend the Earth against fifteen alien invasions. He persuades the children to test the game and sign a contract. All but one of them signs, barely a moment later they mysteriously awaken on the shore believing what happened was just a dream.

That night, two giant robots appear suddenly by the beach. The children then teleport into the black robot. They find Kokopelli already inside and controlling the black robot in order to defeat the white enemy robot. During battle he gives the children a brief tutorial on how to pilot the robot as he destroys the enemy. Once he has finished he tells the children that they are on their own now and sends them back to the beach. As the children are teleported out, one child observes Kokopelli whispering "I'm sorry".

That's how the series starts, how the second episode ends however is why I'm hooked

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Break-Through Heaven Gurren Lagann
An anime series directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi (Dead Leaves and FLCL) from that great studio Gainax.

Ok I don't know if you have seen 'Dead Leaves' you may have seen 'FLCL' but this is what you call fun animation! It's a kinetic style where it's very loose, explosive and pulp.

Best I can describe the story (wikipedia didn't even try) is a group of humans live their life underground. Our reluctant hero, the young Simon, is an expert digger his friend the (awesome headstrong Kamina) plan to escape their underground life and journey to the surface. Their plan is foiled (riding a herd of giant moles was never going to work) and by orders of the Leader Kamina is locked up. Simon goes back to digging and stumbles across a giant robot head. He then drills into the prison Kamina is kept in and breaks him out to show him what he has discovered. As they are making their way to the giant head a earthquake happens and a giant robot smashes through from the surface. Everyone runs and hides except for Kamina who takes away the leaders giant sword and stands infront of the giant robot monster. Kamina then monologues what a mistake this robot has made, the robot laughs but then shots are heard from above. Something else drops in from the surface, she is Yoko. A bikini wearing, large rifle wielding girl comes in dramatically attacking the giant robot.

Ok that basically gives you the setup of the 3 main characters. My favourite character is Kamina, he is just so dam funny, he's like half Han Solo half Yakuza punk.

(As they are running away)
"What the hell are you doin?"
(after Kamina gets in the way of her shooting the robot from behind)
"A man fights face to face"
"I'm a women"
"A woman shouldn't stick her nose in a man's fight"
"I'm the only one doing any fighting"
"I like what you say, I'm impressed woman"

The rapid fire delivery of lines is hilarious. Kamina has these great rants and he believes every word in what hes is saying. "Defy reason by doing the impossible" is his motto.

I love this series and I keep rewatching the episodes because it is so much fun.

A DVD series I've recently finished watching is Ghost in the shell: SAC 2nd gig

This second series is brilliant. Where the first series got bogged down in philosophy the second series is more character and plot driven. Oh and the animation is truly astounding! I really don't know how they could afford to do each episode.

Director Kenji Kamiyama (who also writes a heap of the best episodes) really made this series just as suspenseful as an episode of 24.

Check-check that out

and finally some web animations for you

Here's a brilliant new cartoon by the Homestarrunner. The dial in this episode is one of the best.

and this brilliant short animation by Graham Annable. This is dam funny

And finally here's something very old that brings a tear to my eye

Ok well now I've got this out of my system I can go back to putting up my own work. Hope you enjoy all the above stuff as much as I am.


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